-The prices are almost the same, only a $10 difference so that doesn't matter to me. I'm upgrading a 4670 and don't want to go crazy with cost. $140 or less is a great price point for either of these cards as they are on the recommended list in the monthly "Best graphics cards for the money" that gets put out by Tom's Hardware (and they were recommended at the pricing of $170 and $185).
-Regarding performance, it would seem to makes sense to just spend the extra $10 since the 6870 is a better/faster card. I'm also taking into account that the 6870 needs 2 six pin connectors vs the 6850 only needing 1 six pin. I don't care about the difference on my electric bill, but I do care about stuff like noise levels and heat generation. My system and power supply can handle either card.
-Regarding brands, I know that Sapphire, XFX, Gigabyte, etc might be more "name brands", but the PowerColor has 145 reviews with a 4 out of 5 average. The HIS has 13 reviews with a 4 out of 5 average as well. In professional reviews I see various sites put out, PowerColor and HIS cards have been used several times and seem to do well compared to other brands.
-I've read several people say that the 6850 is a better value for the money since it overclocks better than the 6870. However, I'm sure that was more so the case when the cards had a $30-$40 difference, not a $10 difference.
-I'm choosing these cards since they have free shipping and good rebates right now. They seem to be the best value right now. I've sent a lot of rebates in and usually get them, so that's why they are getting factored in the price. I'm not worried about any extras other cards come with like vga adapters, power adapters, etc... all I need is the card itself.
So anyway, I need to make this purchase asap since I don't want them to run out of stock and the rebates expire in a couple days. Please let me know what you guys think and the reason why you'd choose one card over the other.
Thanks for the input! At 6am Newegg sent out an end of the year clearance ad which had the HIS 6870 discounted another $10. So now that both cards were the same price, it would be foolish to get the lower-end card.
Several reviews online do show the 6870 being slightly noisier than than the 6850, but it seem like both are pretty quiet to begin with. Another reason why I asked which card you guys would buy is because I remember reading about one of the newer AMD cards being plagued with line and artifact issues. People said the drivers were terrible. I've been looking for which card in particular was criticized and I couldn't find it. I've gone through so many websites in the last week it's not even funny lol.
I don't think its any new amd card unless its a dual gpu as the drivers are pretty good.
most people saying amd having bad drivers cause of the old ATI days when switching over to vista and doesn't apply today and they only bring it up either cause thats what they been told or they are nvidia fanboys. drivers for AMD are as good if not better than nvidia these days and Ive had less problems than my friend on his new nvidia card with my AMD card.